Live Streaming of Derby vs Sheffield Wednesday on Sky Sports in UK & Ireland with Football VPN
A different type of Cup Final – Derby vs Sheffield Wednesday! Football exists outside the Premier League and many clubs, and their fans, are happy to operate outside of England’s top flight. The thrill for them is going to the match, supporting the club. The highs and lows, the joys and the heartache of life in the lower leagues.
Derby vs Sheffield Wednesday
Saturday 8 May 2021
1230 UK Kick-Off
Sky Sports Live Streaming
t’s more of a journey, more of an adventure. Who wants to finish 15th in the Premier League each season playing stodgy football when you can float between the Championship and League One, or League One and League Two. Often too good for one but not good enough for the other. Chasing promotion one season, fighting relegation the next. Every game matters. And then there’s the cups. Those magical trophies that bring hope for everyone. A chance of a giant killing, the opportunity to upset the apple cart. Fans of all clubs, especially in the lower leagues, dream of getting one of the Premier League’s top boys down to their lower league stadium and making them uncomfortable in a cramped dressing room before bringing them out onto a tight pitch with the crowd right on top of them. The type of crowd that separates the men from the boys.
There are other clubs in the lower leagues that feel like they belong in the top flight though. They feel they are Premier League calibre clubs in terms of size, history, fanbase and infrastructure. Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday are two such teams. Big clubs from big cities. Clubs with large, passionate fanbase. Clubs with six top flight titles and four FA Cups between them. Clubs with fantastic history dating back over a century. They may not have been in the Premier League in over a decade, or two decades in Wednesday’s case, but they still harbour hope and belief that they can return there and remain there. Wednesday had to watch as Sheffield United, their fiercest rivals put together multiple promotions to climb from League One into the Premier League. Their fans had to go to work alongside Blades fans and deal with the glee and gloating, while their team laboured in the Championship.
Derby have been in the Championship since 2008, when they suffered relegation after a single season in the Premier League. Their last sustained run in the top flight ended in 2002 which brought to an end a six year spell among the elite, which saw them finish in the top half twice. Sheffield Wednesday have not played a Premier League game since 2000. They’ve played three seasons in England’s third division, but none in the Premier League in the past 21 years. In that time they’ve only come close to promotion back to the top division twice, in 2015/16 and 2016/17. More often than not they’ve found themselves battling against relegation, or stagnant in midtable. Derby briefly flirted with a drop into the third tier in their first few seasons in the Championship but have been a top half club consistently since 2011, making the playoffs four times and twice losing in the playoff final.
These are two clubs that have fallen on hard times. Both have difficult ownership situations. Derby, owned by Mel Morris, have been up for sale for well over a year and have seen a couple of takeovers fall through when it became apparent that the perspective owner didn’t have the money they claimed too. Morris has continued to fund the club, and has pumped in plenty of money over the years, but he no longer has the desire to do so and wants out. Wednesday are owned by Dejphon Chansiri, a Thai billionaire who made his money in Tuna. Chansiri is an impatient type and has chopped and changed managers, spent money unwisely and then refused to spend at all. He’s become increasingly unpopular among the Wednesday faithful, and that unpopularity could well be amplified after this weekend.
Both clubs are have had financial difficulty in recent years. Both struggled to keep within the FFP guidelines for the Championship and made the move to sell their stadiums from the club to other companies owned by the owners. This in itself is not outside the rules, but falsely inflating the value of the stadiums is. Both clubs were accused of doing this, with Wednesday also accused on manipulating the date of their sale to park it on a different years accounts. Neither team was found guilty of inflating the values though that may have been down to an ambiguity surrounding the value of football stadiums in general, but Wednesday were found guilty of declaring the profits from their sale in the wrong years accounts and punished with a 12 point deduction, which was reduced to six on appeal.
Both sides have sacked managers this season, both sides have struggled for consistency this season and both sides face an uncertain future. Derby sit 21st in the Championship table on 43 points having lost their last six in a row, and 10 of their last 14. Wayne Rooney’s tenure as manager has not been successful and you’d have to imagine that if he wasn’t Wayne Rooney, he’d have been dismissed by now. Wednesday sit 23rd, second from bottom, on 40 points. The hold a slight edge, -21 to -22, in the goal difference column.
These sides will meet this Saturday, with their Championship status on the line. Wednesday can only stay up in they win, but even then it gets complicated. While a defeat would relegate Derby, the Owls could still suffer relegation in 22nd placed Rotherham defeat Cardiff in the Welsh capital. Cardiff are 8th and have nothing to play for so the door is slightly open for Rotherham. The advantage heading into Saturday is with Derby though. A win keeps them up, a draw will keep them up unless Rotherham win as Rotherham also have a better goal difference than them.
When Derby welcome Wednesday to Pride Park on Saturday, two clubs who believe they belong in the top flight face the prospect of dropping further away from where they want to be. One or both will be relegated, but only one can survive. Wayne Rooney said it was like a Cup final for his team, and he is correct. It’s one last chance to save themselves from the disgrace of relegation to League One. Derby haven’t played in England’s third tier since 1985/86, the season during which Rooney was born. Wednesday have been there more recently but have no appetite to return. How different things would be for them if they hadn’t be docked those six points. It would be they who held the three point lead, it would be them in the driving seat needing only a point to survive, with Rotherham already relegated.
It’s not a Cup final, but it will feel like one for the players and managers involved. There’s winner won’t take home a trophy, they’ll merely achieve survival and the chance to chase the dream again next season.
Unless Rotherham beat Cardiff of course.
How to get a Derby vs Sheffield Wednesday match?
Saturday’s match will be shown live on Sky Sports.
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